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June 21, 2019

Botox® for wrinkles – when is it used?

Botox® in Berlin | Weißensee Skin CenterCommonly known as the “miracle weapon” against mimic wrinkles: Botulinum toxin or Botox®. As an essential part of the treatment repertoire for wrinkle treatment in Berlin Botox® is particularly suitable for patients who are bothered by wrinkles that are activated by the facial muscles. Due to the natural reduction in skin elasticity, mimic wrinkles can manifest and deepen more easily. However, botulinum toxin has not only established itself in medicine as an anti-ageing agent. What exactly is behind the brand name Botox® and in which other treatments the active ingredient is used is explained in the following news article.

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What is botulinum toxin?

Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin. In its pure form, it is even one of the strongest poisons known. The term “botulinum toxin” is made up of the Latin words botolus (sausage) and toxin (poison). The toxin is produced by bacteria that can be found in improperly stored food, for example. This is why botulism also became known as sausage poisoning.

In medicine, botulinum toxin is used in highly diluted concentrations. Although it still inhibits muscle activity in this way by blocking the transmission of stimuli from the nerve to the muscle, it does so in a controlled manner. This means that it does not harm the body. Instead, the body is able to break down the botulinum toxin within a few months without leaving any residue until normal muscle activity is restored.

Different types of wrinkles

There are different types of wrinkles and therefore different treatment methods to correct them. The natural ageing process slows down cell regeneration. In addition, the body produces fewer collagen and elastic fibers, causing the skin and tissue to lose firmness. As a result of gravity, individual areas of the face sink and wrinkles appear. Some factors can also promote skin ageing. These include, for example, sun and UV radiation, extreme heat or cold, an unhealthy lifestyle, environmental toxins, stress and inadequate recovery periods. The lost elasticity and the lack of volume can be compensated for with fillers such as hyaluronic acid. They literally plump up wrinkles from the inside out.

In addition to these gravity-induced wrinkles, there are also mimic wrinkles. By moving the facial muscles, individual wrinkles appear over time with certain muscle efforts. For example, when raising the eyebrows or laughing. If the muscle activity in the corresponding area is weakened, the muscles can no longer contract. As a result, the respective wrinkles are no longer activated, so that the facial skin is smoothed and looks younger and fresher.

Wrinkle treatment with Botox® – possible areas of application

Mimic wrinkles occur mainly in the forehead, eye and mouth area. Typical examples that many people find annoying include worry and frown lines on the forehead and laugh lines (“crow’s feet”) around the eyes. Bunny lines can also occur on the nose, which can also be reduced with the help of Botox®. The active ingredient can now also effectively treat small lip lines and wrinkles on the chin or neck. Wrinkle treatment with Botox® achieves very good results, especially if the wrinkles are not yet particularly deep. For an optimal, harmonious result, it can sometimes be advisable to combine botulinum toxin therapy with filler injections.

Botox® in medicine – where else is it used?

Botulinum toxin was first used medically not as an anti-ageing agent, but to treat neurological movement disorders (dystonia). Botulinum toxin has been used in neurology since the early 1980s. Spasticity is also frequently treated with the neurotoxin. Intensive research over the past thirty years has led to the addition of further areas of application, including the treatment of tension headaches and migraines, hyperhidrosis (extreme sweating) and anal fissures.

At our Weißensee Skin Center, we also use Botox® to treat grinding problems (bruxism). The constant clenching of the jaws can not only lead to damage to the teeth, but is also often associated with pain for those affected. We also treat migraines, hyperhidrosis and depression with the help of botulinum toxin.

The mechanism of action of Botox®

As previously mentioned, botulinum toxin inhibits muscle activity. When the active ingredient is injected into the muscle, protein complexes are destroyed in a targeted manner, blocking the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. If this messenger substance is missing, the muscle no longer receives the information to tense up. At the same time, however, other nerve functions such as feeling and touch remain unaffected. The effect builds up gradually after the injection and reaches its peak after around ten days. The body then breaks down the botulinum toxin again. After about two to six months, the so-called new sprouting at the nerve endings is complete. The result: the muscle can contract again as usual.

Is botulinum toxin dangerous?

Botulinum toxin, which is used for medical and aesthetic therapies, is largely harmless to the human organism. In addition, botulinum toxin is only used in safe doses. The qualification of the doctor is therefore important for a treatment with as few complications as possible and a desirable result. An expert knows exactly where the injection should be given and what to do if unpleasant complications do occur. With a specially trained and experienced specialist, the risks of treatment with botulinum toxin are reduced to a minimum.

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